That’s not steep. That’s vertiginous. The natural habitat of the armoured downhiller.
I am not a downhiller and I’m barely armoured.
Grip the bars. Sweat. Ride on.
Berms? I know berms. But not like these.
Wall of death corners that twist and swoop and join forces in an endless helter skelter.
Loosen a little. Ride on.
Rocks. That’s more like it. I know where I am with rocks. They shift and roll and budge, but I know ‘em.
At least a bit. In the same way the lion tamer knows the lion, right up until the jaws snap shut.
Flex. Enjoy the speed. Ride on.
Roots. Now THOSE are roots. They belong in Fanghorn not the Alps. Like a writhing mass of snakes, their glistening backs are keen to foil.
Slip, slide, keep the weight over the back wheel. The path eases out. Gravel, moorland. Café stop.
Sit. Order. Café noir.
A civilised end to a fearsome descent.
I’ve just returned from mountain biking at Morzine, Avoriaz and Les Getz in the French Alps. I don’t shy away from downhills, but this cyclo-cross rider was out of his depth. Loved it it though. I even bought baggies. Top image: Silhouette of moody mountain at Morzine.